Protestors gather in Hochelaga to denounce curfew

Organizers claim curfew is a danger for vulnerable communities

In the midst of a snowstorm on Jan. 16, around 75 protestors gathered at Place Simon-Valois in Hochelaga at 3:30 p.m. to demonstrate against Premier François Legault’s 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. Protestors were met with approximately 50 SPVM officers surrounding the demonstration.

Around 75 demonstrators marched down Ontario St., denouncing the curfew. Photo Esteban Cuevas

At around 3:40 p.m., an SPVM van announced that anyone not respecting social distancing and wearing masks would be ticketed between $1000 to $6000. Soon after, a group of approximately ten officers walked into the demonstration and escorted a man out because he wasn’t wearing a mask.

Another protestor was escorted out by police for wearing his mask underneath his nose. This was met with protestors retaliating by chanting “No justice, no peace, fuck the police.” When a man who claimed to be his concerned friend asked an SPVM officer why they didn’t give him the chance to raise the mask over his nose the officer refused to give a justification.



Protestors poured onto Ontario St., marching and chanting: “A qui la rue? A nous la rue!” The march was led by two protestors holding a tapestry that read “Ensemble pour des mesures Sanitaires et Solidaires!” As the protestors marched they chanted “1,2,3,4, this is fucking class war! 5, 6, 7, 8, organize and smash the state!” and, “Tout le monde déteste la police!” 

The march ended in front of the Church of Nativité-de-la-Sainte-Vierge-d'Hochelaga where speakers made their final comments.

Organizers questioned the effectiveness of a curfew and implored the Quebec government to close non-essential businesses instead. Photo Esteban Cuevas

Rodil Lebon is a member of La Riposte socialiste and explained his organization thinks the curfew is a bad measure. He wants the government to shut down non-essential industries, but thinks they won’t do it because they represent the interests of bosses and not the working class. To him, the curfew is an inefficient measure and is detrimental to the working class.

Legault justified his decision by stating that many people are visiting people who are 65 and older, and a curfew would reduce the number of private gatherings. However, Quebec’s public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda admitted that there is no study proving curfews stop the transmission of COVID-19. Similarly, head of the infectious diseases department at the Jewish General Hospital, Dr. Karl Weiss has also stated that curfews have not proven to be effective.